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Canadiens, Bruins catch up after splitting OT playoff games @NHLdotcom

BOSTON (AP) - After playing overtime games in different cities on consecutive nights, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens were glad to get a day off Monday.

The Bruins returned home Sunday and got a 2-1 win in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series when Marc Savard scored 9:25 into overtime. Boston pulled to 2-1 in the series as well.

"If you're 30, you feel like you're 60 the next day," Savard said Monday. "You just have to get your rest. We're doing the right things around here, getting lots of fluids and be as ready as can be for the next one."

The Bruins' win came a day after Alex Kovalev scored 2 1/2 minutes into overtime to give the Canadiens a sweep of the first two games at home.

Both teams have played hard," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I don't think there's a team that has an edge when it comes to that. We've played the same kind of minutes. Physically, I think our team is still in pretty good shape."

After the day off, Game 4 is back Tuesday night at the TD Banknorth Garden.

"A little bit tired, a little fatigued, can't lie about that," Boston center Glen Metropolit said. "But it's playoff hockey and you've got to leave it out there on the ice, we know that. You do whatever you have to, to win. It's come down to that."

Montreal also spent Monday regrouping after nearly putting putting Boston down 3-0 in the series.

"We had the opportunity to put them in a big hole, but they were able to capitalize," Montreal defenseman Michael Komisarek said.

Added Montreal's Steve Begin: "The game shouldn't have gone to overtime. We had our chances, but we aren't working, we aren't talking on the ice and that's why we were in trouble."

The Bruins took their first lead against Montreal all season when Milan Lucic scored 6 1/2 minutes into Game 3. The 19-year-old rookie is already being compared favorably to past Boston greats.

"To compare him to Cam Neely and Terry O'Reilly is probably putting too much pressure on a young guy," Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said. "But as far as being the classic Bruin protege, he's perfect. He didn't have to come in here and change anything about himself, it's just him."

Lucic's physical play seemed to inspire the Bruins, who have held the league's best regular- season power play unit to one goal in 18 chances, the best penalty kill so far in the playoffs.

"He's given us a lot more than we even anticipated," Julien said. "He made this team at the beginning of the year because we saw some potential but he was a guy that seemed, even at 19 years old, to be physically strong enough to handle this level."

Thomas had his best performance of the series in Game 3, stopping 27 of 28 shots, including all six in overtime to help the Bruins snap a 13-game skid, dating back to the 2006-07 season, against their archrivals.

"We had lots of point-blank chances, but they kept hitting him (Thomas)," Montreal center Bryan Smolinski said. "Fun game, but unfortunately we came out on the bad end."

The Canadiens tied it at 4:26 of the second when Tom Kostopoulos, despite being wrestled to the ice in the slot, swept the puck past Thomas to make it 1-1.

Montreal continued its dominance in the overtime, testing Thomas continually before the Bruins caught a break when a penalty was signaled in Montreal's zone. As Thomas headed for the bench, Peter Schaefer controlled the puck and got it to Dennis Wideman.

Savard came in off the bench as the extra skater, and Wideman found him in the middle for the open backhander.

"I'd like to think we can carry over with the momentum," Thomas said. "It was a big win but (Tuesday) the work starts all over again. It's a clean slate every game."

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